Rules of steer wrestling include: The steer wrestler's horse must not break the rope barrier in front of it at the beginning of a run, but must wait for the animal escaping from the adjacent chute to release the rope. Breaking the rope barrier early adds a 10 second penalty to the steer wrestler's time. If the steer stumbles or falls before the wrestler brings it down, he must either wait for it to rise or help it up before wrestling it to the ground. If the steer wrestler completely misses the steer on his way down, he will receive a "no time." Typical professional times will be in the range of 3.5 to 10 seconds from the gates opening to the waving of the flag. The steers used today are generally Corriente cattle which weigh between 450-650 pounds, and the human steer wrestlers typically weigh 200-275 pounds. While steer wrestlers have a lower injury rate than bull riders or bronc riders, their injury rate is higher than that of the speed events.
Steer Wrestling is a rodeo sport where a mounted rider chases a steer, dismounts, then wrestles the steer to the ground by twisting its horns. The rider with the quickest time of completion is the winner. Steer wrestling, also known as bulldogging, is a rodeo event in which a horse-mounted rider chases a steer, drops from the horse to the steer, and then wrestles the steer to the ground by twisting its horns. Many animal rights activist have questioned the competition and feel it constitutes cruelty to the animals involved. A 10 foot rope is fastened around the steer's neck which is used to ensure that the steer gets a head start. On one side of the chute is the hazer, whose job is to ride parallel with the steer once it begins running and ensure it runs in a straight line, on the other side of the chute the steer wrestler waits behind a taut rope fastened with an easily broken string which is fastened to the rope on the steer. The steer is freed and when it reaches the end of the rope, the steer wrestler's barrier is opened. The steer wrestler attempts to catch up to the running steer, lean over the side of the horse which is running flat out and grab the horns of the running steer. The wrestler then attempts to wrestle it to the ground.
Steer wrestling originated in the 1930s, most crediting Bill Pickett, a Wild West Show performer who was said to have caught a runaway steer by wrestling it to the ground; therefore, unlike other rodeo events, steer wrestling was not part of ranch work for cowboys.